It’s been a while since I posted a stock compensation grab bag. Here are a few recent developments that don’t warrant their own entry but are still worth knowing about.
HSR Filing Thresholds
Good news: now executives can acquire even more stock! Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, executives that acquire company stock in excess of specified thresholds are required to file reports with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. The thresholds at which these reports are required have increased for 2015. See the memo we posted from Morrison & Foerster for the new thresholds, which are effective as of February 20, 2015.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out our handy HSR Act Portal.
Final FATCA Regs
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires employees to report any overseas accounts that hold specified foreign financial assets, which could be interpreted to include stock awards issued by non-US corporations. The assets (stock awards, for our purposes) are reported on IRS Form 8938 (“Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets”), which is filed with the annual tax return. Final FATCA regulations, released in December 2014, clarify that unvested awards, do not need to be reported on Form 8938 until they have “substantially vested” (except in the case of a Section 83(b) election).
Dodd-Frank Rulemaking Update
The SEC has pushed back its agenda of rulemaking projects under the Dodd-Frank Act. The proposed rules for clawback requirements, disclosure of hedging policies, and pay-for-performance disclosures and the final rules for the CEO pay ratio disclosure have been pushed back to October 2015 (just in the time for the 23rd Annual NASPP Conference). This is despite comments from SEC Chair Mary Joe White last fall that the SEC was pushing to issue the final CEO pay ratio rules by the end of year. That’s a big delay—from the end of 2014 to October 2015—especially given the pressure on the SEC to issue these rules.
Section 83(b) Election Update
When making a Section 83(b) election, employees are required to include a copy of the election with their tax return for the year in which the election is made. In PLR 201438006, the IRS ruled that a Section 83(b) election was valid even though the taxpayer failed to attach a copy of the election to his Form 1040. If the failure had invalidated the election, employees could effectively revoke the election by “forgetting” to include it with their tax return—and, as we all know, Section 83(b) elections are irrevocable once the deadline to file them has elapsed.
– BarbaraTags: clawback, Dodd-Frank Act, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, hedging policies, HSR Act, IRS, pay ratio, pay-for-performance, SEC, Section 83(b) election